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TheChat: Emanuel Cleaver applauds changes to policing

Good morning.

▪ “In the weeks and months since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, I have worked...to spur a fundamental shift in local law enforcement, away from military-style response and toward a community-based, proportionate-response style of policing.” — Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver.

Cleaver, a Democrat from Kansas City, on Monday cheered a series of moves the White House announced to strengthen community policing. He said the Obama administration adopted several recommendations that he and Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay of St. Louis proposed that affect how local police departments use and acquire military equipment. One idea is to ensure that all equipment that law enforcement acquires has a legitimate civilian purpose and includes training. There’s also a proposal to require that all police officers wear body cameras.

▪ “If we can’t be comfortable in our homes, they will not be comfortable in theirs.” — the Rev. Traci Blackmon, a co-organizer of an organization called “Mothers March for Justice,” about the need for Ferguson protestors to go to the state Capitol and have their voices heard.

Blackmon wants Gov. Jay Nixon to appoint a special prosecutor to review the evidence in the Michael Brown case. She also asked that Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and Congressman Lacy Clay support her demand. The fervor in Ferguson is not fading.

▪ “This is an incredible opportunity to create momentum.” — Rich McClure, 60, a Kirkwood resident and one of the co-chairs of the governor’s Ferguson Commission.

The two panel leaders are promising that their work will not amount to an intellectual exercise or a platform for the airing of personal opinions. Nixon said the group is to address the “social and economic conditions” highlighted by the Ferguson protests. The group is to study the causes of the ongoing unrest and make recommendations. We know McClure from his days as a top aide to then-Gov. John Ashcroft. He’s a very able guy.

▪ “That’s a shocking number.” — Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt talking about the the estimate of 22 military veterans who commit suicide each day.

Blunt, a Republican, is pushing for improved mental-health services for military veterans. One bill Blunt backs would require a third-party review of suicide prevention programs in the VA and Defense Department. (link courtesy of johncombest.com).

▪ “I’m sure this issue will be litigated as far as what the president’s authority is.” — Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran, a Republican, predicting legal action over President Barack Obama’s ability to sign an executive order authorizing sweeping change to the nation’s immigration laws.

Moran and other Kansas Republicans are convinced that Obama’s action will be challenged in court. GOP members of Congress also will work to defund programs that would allow Obama’s moves to proceed.

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